Doubling of Galápagos entry fees hailed as ‘necessary’

Tour operators have welcomed the doubling of entrance fees to the Galápagos National Park, highlighting that the move will fund preservation measures protecting the islands for future generations.

The Galápagos National Park Authority has said the price to visit the Galápagos Islands will increase from $100 to $200 per adult from August 1.

The extra funds will be channelled into conservation initiatives, infrastructure upgrades and community programmes aimed at reducing tourism’s ecological footprint, according to Ecuador’s government.

Mark Beken, head of Latin America at The Explorations Company, said: “Given that Galápagos entry fees have stayed consistent for more than 25 years, we are delighted that this relatively small increase in the overall cost of visiting the Galápagos will help contribute to the continued safeguarding of this truly unique and globally important natural asset.”

Ecuador tourism minister Niels Olsen said it was 26 years since the fees had been raised.

Describing the hike as “necessary”, he said it would help make sure that tourism in the Galápagos “remains sustainable and mutually beneficial to both the environment and our local communities”.

Megan Parkinson, head of sustainability at the Latin American Travel Association (Lata), praised Ecuador for its “commitment to sustainable, positive impact tourism”.

Travel Differently founder Sam Gough said: “The doubling of fees to $200 still allows tourists to spend up to two weeks exploring the islands, but will greatly increase the money available to the authorities for conservation and preservation at a time when this work is more urgent than ever.”

Carmel Hendry, Explore Worldwide’s product manager for the Americas, said: “For me, the raised fee represents the tug of war between conservation and tourism that will continue to be a challenge as long as tourism on the islands keeps growing. On balance, I’m positive about the increase.

“Annual tourist numbers represent more than five times the actual population of the islands, and while we contribute enormously to the economy of the Galápagos, we’re using community and governmental resources and infrastructure (from recycling and waste disposal to clinics and pharmacies) that could benefit from improvements.

“The improvements and additional funds for conservation will help protect and preserve the islands for the tourism of the future – I see it as paying it forward.”

Related Articles

Singapore ‘pretty close’ to recovering pre-pandemic tourism figures

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon evacuated due to latest volcanic eruption

AlUla introduces first ever global campaign